Businesses are missing a trick when it comes to mobile devices

Google Pixel 2
(Image credit: Future)

Businesses may think they are saving money with a BYOD approach to mobile devices, but there is evidence to suggest otherwise, a new report from Samsung suggests.

Surveying 500 executives and 1,000 employees at small- and mid-sized US businesses on mobile technologies in the workplace, Samsung discovered that just 15% of firms provide business smartphones to all of their employees. For the vast majority (95%), the biggest barrier was the cost. 

The actual cost difference, however, is a lot smaller than one might think. According to the report, companies that take the BYOD approach pay an average stipend of $40.20 a month, to compensate employees for using personal phones for work. At the same time, the cost of mobile service plans for companies that issue smartphones is $42 a month, on average.

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Cheaper option? Or more expensive in the long run?

Taking the upfront cost of the device into consideration, as well as overhead management and software, BYOD will save a business roughly $340 per employee each year. However, businesses stand to lose a lot by not deploying their own smartphones too.

A third (34%) of BYOD-oriented firms think they are lagging in mobile maturity, more than double the rate compared to smartphone-issuing firms. BYOD firms are likely to deploy fewer business apps and consider smartphones less critical to agility and speed of decision-making.

BYOD firms also think mobile plays a lesser role in improving customer and employee satisfaction, and are more likely to leave mobile data and apps unprotected.

Employees in construction firms, and others working in the field, for example, will appreciate a rugged device that can withstand the elements and not break as easily as consumer-oriented devices. 

Finally, Samsung argues that issuing smartphones can help the business grow, and prevent employees from leaving to work elsewhere. For firms issuing smartphones, 53% reported growth of five percent or more, in the past three years, something just 45% of BYOD-oriented firms can say, although it would be difficult to prove causality in this instance.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.